Nav: Home

Increasingly complex mini-brains

March 07, 2019

Scientists improved the initial steps of a standard protocol and produced organoids displaying regionalized brain structures, including retinal pigmented cells. The announcement was published today in BMC Developmental Biology by the D'Or Institute for Research and Education's team.

Human brain organoids are aggregates formed by nervous cells obtained from cell reprogramming. Within this technique, cells extracted from skin or urine of volunteers are transformed into stem cells and then into neurons and other nervous cell types. They are cultivated for weeks, until they start forming agglomerates that resemble an embryonic brain.

For the past few years, scientists are trying to perfect this model in order to create organoids increasingly complex and similar to those on later stages of development.

Since 2016, in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), scientists from the D'Or Institute have cultivated human brain organoids to study neurological diseases and the effects of new drugs on the nervous system.

They put nerve cells in a nutrient-rich liquid, similar to the development environment of the human embryo. From there, those mini-brains develop in a self-regulated process. In other words, all one must do is make sure they have the right environment to develop.

Recently, the team lead by Stevens Rehen has been able to refine the environment where the cells are maintained. "These organoids are a demonstration that it is possible to repeat, in the laboratory, increasingly advanced gradients of human brain development," says Rehen. "We developed a cost-effective suspension method on orbital steering plates as an alternative for the cultivation of brain organoids with retinal pigmented cells".
-end-


D'Or Institute for Research and Education

Related Environment Articles:

How we care for the environment may have social consequences
Anyone can express their commitment to the environment through individual efforts, but some pro-environmental or 'green' behaviors may be seen as either feminine or masculine, which Penn State researchers say may have social consequences.
Neighborhood environment and health
It is well understood that urban black males are at a disproportionately high risk of poor health outcomes.
Children shape their learning environment
A close collaboration between University of Connecticut and Interacting Minds at Aarhus University researchers is exploring how parents and children influence each other when they interact, and the longer term impact this has on language acquisition.
Right green for crop, environment, wallet
Researchers found an efficient approach to managing nitrogen in agriculture and reducing its environmental impact.
Monitoring the environment with artificial intelligence
Microorganisms perform key functions in ecosystems and their diversity reflects the health of their environment.
Environment turns molecule into a switch
For the first time, physicists from the University of W├╝rzburg have successfully positioned an organic molecule on a substrate realizing two stable configurations.
Are microplastics in the environment truly harmful?
Investigators who analyzed the published literature have found significant gaps in our understanding of the effects of microplastics -- plastic particles less than 5mm in size -- in the environment.
Does our environment affect the genes in our brains?
Is there a link between differences in IQ test performance and the activity of certain genes?
Nanoparticles in our environment may have more harmful effects than we think
Researchers warn that a combination of nanoparticles and contaminants may form a cocktail that is harmful to our cells.
Can we have a fire in a highly vacuumed environment?
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers have discovered that non-flaming combustion (smoldering) of a porous specimen can sustain, even under nearly 1 percent of atmospheric pressure.
More Environment News and Environment Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.